Suppose someone discovers a new form of energy that is free for all to use with no negative environmental impact. Suppose that another person creates a device that allows people to communicate telepathically. Suppose someone discovers an anti-gravity machine that can transport people and objects cheaply and rapidly. Suppose someone invents high-yield perennial food crops that don’t need to be replanted every year.This is the straightforward conundrum humanity faces at the inflection point from a scarcity to postscarcity existence. We achieve such overwhelming surpluses, in so many domains, that the Scarcity Game is literally laughed out of existence.
Each would deposit huge amounts of economic value while simultaneously wrecking havoc on the financial system. Oil companies would go out of business, telecoms would go bust, transportation industries would cease, and agribusiness would fail, etc. Millions would lose their jobs and mortgages would collapse, etc.
While the scenarios above illustrate the point well, we don't have to wait for telepathy to see these forces at work, right now. Today. Present tense.
- We have the "new form[s] of energy that is free for all to use with no negative environmental impact." They are called solar, wind, and geothermal.
- We have the devices that allow people to effectively communicate telepathically. They're called smart phones, bluetooth headsets, mobile chat, and SMS. We all have fun with this every day as we use this "digital telepathy" to talk with friends about the other people who are standing right there in front of us.
- As for perennial food crops, okay, this one maybe has a little ways to go; however, there's no debating the magnitude of the productive disruption created by improved technologies, genetically modified crops, and the bombastic Brute Forced Scarcity of various subsidies which are only in place in order to prevent the collapse of food prices described, above.